The buildup of the You Belong! System in order to help the successful integration (proved by results) of the lagging societal layers. It's aim is to operate and develop a complex, individualised, family- and community-based, holistic and committed, measurable and adaptable, bottom-up insitutions and services, that transcend over government cycles. The VHR provides a system of education-focused, constant and thoughtful support starting from the earliest possible age in the life of an individual in need. The VHR is built on and summarizes our existing practices and their results. It develops organically based on our results and good practices, step by step.
VHA summary, results/practices
VHS Ózd base (insitiution-like operation)
Thanks to the last five year's work, we managed to prove that our outlook and methodology makes it possible to develop a full system (You Belong!! System) based on the You Belong!! Studio, the You Belong! Studio+ and it's predecessors, the creation-centered settlement social model program's experiences in the Hétes settlement. We managed to develop the organisational structure, organisational strategy, which is, at the same time, and organic, bottom-up process-model, thus provides the best possible system-level answers to the actual questions of reality. The systematic, thoughtful, bottom-up support, service- education- and creation-focused, process-oriented system that renews itself based on feedback, and it's methodological solutions, elements (Patronuses, inclusion of families, community building, etc.) makes the dramatic changes and new lifepaths of the pupils and their families coming from deep poverty real.
Our experience is that the peers of our pupils who are in similar circumstances but not members of the You Belong! Studio are already reproducing poverty (they quit school at the latest in secondary school, start a family with an uncertain future), while their peers (in age and in social status) study further in the best schools with good results, in case they receive a very thoughtful support system (You Belong!). They are already planning their future in which the goal is higher education and professional knowledge.
I find it an important achievement that You Belong! became a community, whose equal members are the employees, all family members of the pupils, and also the Studio pupils themselves.
The positive Roma-image, identity, the integration of Roma/non-Roma and colorfulness, the ability to accept, and the intercultural socialization of this community is very advanced. The gravity of love of the VH community is very strong.
The families and pupils that belong to the VH community clearly see and conceptualize the VH's fate-turning and chance-creating work and results, and they are valuing, cherishing it. The multiplicator effect of this is that the VHS is open to expansion anytime, if it depended on the attitude of the mostly Roma families, who understand and desire that their children cooperate with the VH.
During this year, we accepted 29 new pupils to the VHS base in Ózd (total number: 61 children and around 250 family members). The Ózd base has developed into a stable element of the building You Belong!! System. It's organizational rules and protocolls have been developed. It is mostly operated by local Roma employeed. We managed to assign state resources to it's operation. From this, we provided the development/training, supervision and coaching of our employees. We finalised the methodological development. Our methodology is based on solution-focused, democratic and positive pedagogical elements. Our point of view is holistic.
We have 11 full-time employees and 11 lecturers. Our work is helped by secondary schoolers in Ózd. We developed the age groups of the VHS structure, their goals and the service packages neccessary to achieve them, The new pupils entered the Foundation (14 pupils) and the Club (15 pupils) groups. The group preparing for entrance exams include 8 pupils and the number of our pupils who are already studying in secondary schools is 11 (and further 12 pupils in our VHS+ vocational dormitory in Budapest). We prepare our pupils (and their families) who take entrance exams in a given year for a whole year and we plan our pupil's career path together. During this period, 5 of our pupils are planning to study in Budapest.
On the VHS base, we are in close cooperation with 9 schools in Ózd. The patronuses are in constant communication with the primary and secondary schools (homeroom teachers, teachers, directors, etc.). We communicate with the participating parents and families during parental meetings, family days, family club and office hours.
The VHS+ operates within a state institution with a state legal relationship, but it's methodology and extra services are provided by the You Belong!! Alapítvány (VHA), thus it works as part of the building You Belong!! System. Currently, it provides the further studies in secondary schools in Budapest and stay in secondary education for our pupils taught, developed and prepared in the base institution in Ózd. For this, we provide full catering, familiar environment, complex educational, social and life management by the Patronuses, inclusion of the families, traveling, talent management, tutoring, cultural programs, community life and mental support.
VHR - the path of the child
The children living in segregated neighborhoods and attending to segregated schools can enter the You Belong! System at various points. The first entry point is the You Belong! Studio Ózd (base institution for children from segregated schools getting complex services in order to secure studying further). Within the VHS base there are four units: Club (grades 1-6), Foundation (grades 1-6), Auditioning (grades 6-8), Secondary Schooler (grades 6-8). The aims and services of the four units are determined below:
VHS Club Membership
Aim: preparation for the integration into the VHS system (entry point)
VHS Foundation (grades 1-6) 1 educator-patrönus:
Aim: laying the foundation of studying further within the VHS system. Mapping of the competences, skills, talent and career plan/interests.
VHS Auditioners (grades 7-8):
Aim: successful finishing of primary school, preparation/planning for career choice, preparation for entrance exams, choosing a school, schooling
VHS Secondary Schoolers:
Aim: staying in secondary school, career orientation, schooling in higher education/choosing a profession, professional training
The second entry point is the You Belong! Familia Studio: here, the underprivileged, mostly roma children ”enter” the system during their fetus stage. The first part of the VHFS we provide regular services that are building onto each other to the segregated, underprivileged, mostly roma pregnant mothers, fathers and farther relatives. Thus, during the first part of the VHFS we also provide services and patronus management for the siblings in the family based on their age. Services: early developing, kindergarten preparation, school preparation, parent education, grandparent education, community programs, social case management, etc. The children born into the VHFS and their families will enter the VHFS' second part after the birth and progress further. The VHFS services focus on the period from the children's birth into the VHR until their entry to kindergarten, still including the whole family. At this point, there is a passing point between VHFS and VHS. From the VHFS we give an opportunity to the siblings to enter the VHS when they are of primary school age. The children born into the VHR and reached kindergarten age in the VHFS we will create a VH kindergarten and later a primary school. These VH educational institutions provide quality, differentiated, integrated education in a way that is charming for even middle and high class society groups. We will charge money from the local middle class and elite to enter these charming educational institutions of the VHR, and we would realise the comprehensive education useable for the national educational system as a whole in practice. Of course, in the VH educational institutions, the majority will be composed of the underprivileged roma students studying for free. From the VHR they can proceed to a quality secondary school or to professional training from two points, the VH Primary School and the VH Studio (as a reminder: here, the children come from the local segregated education and receive services outside of school). The secondary school and the professional training happens entirely in institutions outside the VHR but their audition, schooling and staying in will still be supported by us through the VHR. The child studying further within the VHR will be supported by the VHS + vocational dorms. (Right now, te VHS+ Budapest is already working). During the process of going out of the VHS+ a new connection point is born with the state and religious institutions. We will create further access to appropriate and complex vocational dorm supplies for the children coming out of the VHS + and studying in higher education, through cooperations with the Roma Christian Vocational Dorms. With this, the VHR creates a support system building on each other and reaching through the whole life of the individual underprivileged mostly roma children and youths starting from the fetus stage to universtiy, which secures that the cumulative disadvantages would be terminated in time and step by step, making the individual's life more stable and more successful. With the broadening of the VHR these continuous services will reach more people, later every needy person, then the whole society group. With this, it helps the termination of poverty. How will this happen? The broadening of the VHR has two directions at the same time. The elements/units of the VHR – the education-focused VH Studio, the family-centered, child-rearing and social focused VH Familia Studio, the complex quality and differentiated education-focuses VH Kindergarten and VH School – can be created as base institutions made for the necessities of a village, or at most a town.
The VHR's model is being built on Ózd. The VHS operates, the VHFS is in a preparation phase, the VHÓ is under planning. The next job in Ózd would be the raising of acceptance of the VHR base. This can be provided by tuning the accepting space of the VHR to the number of the people in need. We aren't planning the national spreading of the VHR through the usual model of adaptation. We don't find it expedient to adapt a village, town level ”VHR recipe” and create VHR base institutions based on the one in Ózd. Instead of adaptation, we are offering a much more effective, also without the risk of devaluation that endangers the VHR's methods, view and operation. We are thinking about the spreading of the VHR nationwide as networking. The network develops organically. The methodology crew of the VHR looks up those partners who operate some kind of structure or institution supporting catching up: Tanoda, Biztos Kezdet Gyerekház, dorms, etc. With the forming of cooperations, they create VH workshops from the chosen institutions, whose aim is that through the cooperation, they change into local units of the VHR (VHS, VHFS, stb.), or that they keep their basic services and evolve it to VH, or they fully transform into that. The delegated body (later bodies) formed from the VHR unit leaders growing this way will control and guarantee the professional work, continuous development and the further building of the network.
The VHR network can be broadened until nationwide coverage. This power comes from the following: it's a holistic, process-oriented system adaptive to the local conditions, organically building from below, in which the work which reflects to the neccessities and individualised thus, ready to renew over and over again, in connected organisational units, structured form, but with great self-organising autonomy, charismatic leaders, and committed people, continues. The joining of the Deák Ferenc dormitory and the VHS+, the preparations of the VHS+ - REFOROM cooperation, the Rácz Gyöngyi community house - the study hall of the Roma Ethnicity Government in Újpest and the systemification of the VHS base all point in this direction.
2018/2019 VHR results
The VHS+ got a separate corridor in the Deák Ferenc state-operated dorm's ground floor, and it accomodates 6 boarding students and 6 students living in outside institutions, who all have dormitory membership. Within the state institution we work with our patronuses and other workers (5 patronuses, 1 person on morning duty, 5 people on night duty) by our own program. Our VHS+ pupils are studying in secondary schools and vocational schools in Budapest (altogether in 10 cooperating institutions) The goal of the institutionalized and professional cooperation with the dorms is: making the existing state dormitory system compatible with the already successful VHS+ system, creating a roma vocational dorm model. We are preparing to accept 5 new students from among our VHS students in Ózd to the VHS+ starting from September. We know the results of two of them: they both have been accepted to their chosen secondary school in Budapest. We are working on a quota system and a secondary school-VHS+ cooperation model with one of the secondary schools cooperating with the VHA and accepting our students, Kürt Alapítványi Gimnázium. The school would like to provide a constant, unpaid VH space on every school year, and at the same time together with their teachers, we will develop what kind of structure does an effective VHS+ secondary school quota system and a pedagogical supportive cooperation need in practice. We are negotiating with the Ministry about the usage of a state property built from EU resources as the You Belong! Familia Studio (VHFS). They built it as a Roma Nationality Methodological, Educational and Cultural Center, but they don't operate it, they didn't provide it's maintainance. The building is 1000 m2, modernly furnished, equipped, close to the VHS and next to two large segregates. At the on-site negotiation, we managed to win the support of Deputy State Secretary responsible for catching up, and the Prime Minister's Commissioner, former responsible EMMI minister Zoltán Balog too. As part of the VHFS program, we relaunched the social and integrational work on the Hétes settlement that flourished between 1998-2013. In 2013, the corrupt council displaced the foundation, consequently the processes started by us stopped and deteriorated. As the result of negotiating with the state we could start working again in the Hétes settlement where the members of the community have not forgotten our shared accomplishments. Many families from among the children of the settlement joins the VHS, one child studies in the VHS+ in Budapest. We would like to attract pregnant mothers from this settlement too to the forming program of the VHFS. 53 roma families living in deep poverty live in the Hétes settlement in Ózd, altogether 350 people. The properties on the settlement neither has flowing water nor bathrooms. The whole water supply of the settlement is provided by 2 wells. In these circumstances it's very difficult to manage washing and bathing in the otherwise small, on average 30 m2 houses, where on average 8-10 people live. In 2013, the You Belong! – You Belong! Foundation created a ”bathhouse” which provides bathing and washing opportunity to the settlement families. We will keep operating it as part of the VHFS. It is fully utilized. On average, 70 person per day uses the bathing, and every family utilises the washing opportunity.